The Department of Interior and Local Government (DILG) reported that local government units (LGUs) immediately approved more than 1,000 applications from telcos after President Rodrigo Duterte lashed out at the turtle-paced permit processing for new cell towers.

DILG Secretary Eduardo Año reported that 1,502 out of 1,930 applications submitted by telcos to 80 LGUs this year were already approved. This development came after the processing time was shortened to an average of 16 days from 241 days.

In his fifth State of the Nation Address (SONA), Duterte called out Globe Telecom and PLDT for their alleged “lousy services,” and threatened to seize their assets if they don’t improve by December. The president, however, redirected his anger to LGUs after he learned from Globe CEO and President Ernest Cu that telco companies have been plagued with excessive red tape at the LGU level.

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